Vermont is a rather unique place. It’s terribly small, with just over half a million residents it is the second least-populated state after Wyoming, and these residents consistently rank in the top for health, happiness and intelligence. People outside of Vermont might only know the state for Ben & Jerry’s, Burton and/or Bernie, but maybe not about our granite quarries, or that we have zero billboards (illegal, unless hand-painted), and our own sea monster legend (“Champ”). Public nudity is legal, and people do exercise that right (and no, they are not stopped by police).
I used to visit here from New York in my early 20’s and, after I fell in love with the people, I decided to make this my home. The people are probably the most unique thing about Vermont. It’s a delicate balance of left-wing hippies and radicals, traditional and conservative farmers, outdoorsmen and women, artists and intellectuals, and a healthy smattering of complete weirdos. Yet, somehow they all seem to get along (for the most part). It’s a population that lives by it’s own code, refuses to be “told what to do,” and prides itself on its neighborliness and deep sense of community.
It’s also a very lovely state, visually. With such a small population to accommodate, the majority of the state is undeveloped. More than three quarters of Vermont’s land is covered in forest. You can hop on your motorbike and, within 15 minutes, you are riding in the countryside. One of my favorite things to do is ride out into the region and shoot some photography with my collection of vintage cameras (I still shoot film, because I am one of the aforementioned “Weirdos of Vermont”). I frequently use the photographs as source material for many of my paintings (you can see my online gallery at BlueSmokeStudio.com), but most of the time I just shoot for the joy of the activity itself.
This blog serves as a place to put many of these photos and stories that I collect. Life is short, and moments are fleeting. I wish to share some of these moments, lest they be lost forever to time.